Thursday, July 12, 2012

Out With The Old, In With The New

Hello All, my apologies for the delay in's been a long few weeks. Where should I begin???????

As more and more campgrounds are cleaned, cleared and opened some changes are being made. For one our schedule has changed so that we now have Saturdays and Sundays off; working Monday through Friday. Some would see that as good; but we have mixed feelings. We've enjoyed having a weekday off to avoid traffic and tourists as we visit many of the popular locations in and around northwest Oregon. But with Saturdays off we are able to take advantage of some local festivals and weekend events.

On workdays you never know what we might be doing; including sweeping the roofs of all the buildings in the campgrounds.

I'm still getting opportunities to improve my animal wrangling skills.First it was bats, now it's birds. This time it was a robin that flew into one of the campground restrooms. The robin had pretty much exhausted itself attempting to fly out a 'window' that was actually a pane of glass. Wearing my trusty gloves I was able to catch it and carry it outside where it took off and headed back to the safety of the trees.

The week of the holiday we were asked to travel to a small campground on Mt Hood called Alpine.

July 4th on Mt Hood

54 Degrees

On Wednesday the 4th we loaded up the truck and headed to an elevation of 6,000'. We arrived at Alpine to find snow in the campsites and drives packed as high as 6'. The temps were around 54 with the sun shining brightly and few clouds. Along with the maintenance supervisor we used the tractor, logging chains and chainsaws to clear as many campsites as possible. About halfway through the CG even the tractor was stymied as the drifts had turned into incredibly hard 6' thick slabs of ice that would not break up. We ended up returning a week later when the ice had melted a little more and finished opening up the remaining campsites.

We've made several trips up to the hot springs rebuilding some of the infrastructure that has been vandalized and/or deteriorated over the years. The hot springs here are basically two small openings in the ground about  3" to 4" wide producing several gallons of water a minute. Originally logs were split in half, hollowed out and used to channel the water to wooden tubs made from large cedar tree trunks. Vandals had come in and kicked over the handmade wooden framework that supported the wooden channels. We rebuilt the support posts and got the hot tubs back into action. With the buildings that house the tubs over 40 years old and not regularly maintained the privacy walls have been patched haphazardly using anything handy; rocks, duct tape, tree limbs, etc. Oh yeah, without nails or screws. Needless to say, privacy while soaking was more a myth than a reality. We ended up removing all of the jury-rigged repairs and rebuilding the privacy walls, including patching all of the mysterious peep holes that had appeared over the years. At least for the foreseeable future folks can now soak in private; if they want to. Many who come to the hot springs don't appear to worry about seeing or being seen au-natural.
Mt Hood from Larch Mountain

Our friend Teri from Seattle is now working on a project in Vancouver which is only a short drive from where we live. She visited last weekend and we traveled up to the Columbia Gorge to check out the view from Larch Mountain. We drove up to the parking area and took a short hike to an elevation of 4056' where we had a spectacular view or 5 of the highest peaks in the northwest. With the exception of a small stand of trees we had almost a 360 degree view. We could see Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens, Mt Adams, Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson.

While Teri was in town she and Joan decided to visit two gardens' the Portland Rose Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden. 

Eventually we all got hungry and decided to go out to dinner. I was tired and decided to get rid of the girls; so I took them to the chic dump.

Tad's is a well-known eatery in Troutdale; the current owners have owned it since the 1950's. It sits on the Sandy River and has seating that overlooks the water.

Our PC is 4 years old and had begun to show signs of its age; frayed power cord, a battery that would not hold a charge and frequent unexplained hiccups while surfing or emailing. Last week the screen began flickering anytime the PC or the lid was moved. As you're probably aware it's very difficult to use the PC when you can't see the screen. So out with the old, in with the new; we decided to go shopping. We found a bargain and picked up a new Dell PC. That's when the fun started as I needed to transfer all of our documents, pics and other data. For the last few days we've been fine tuning and personalizing the PC for ease of use. So please bear with us as we learn our way around the new PC.

Stayed Tuned. More to Come.


  1. Well, OK!! The ChickDump sounds like a "Dream-Come-True"
    for some of us hen pecked guys......on second thought, I
    I really do like being able to see, & walk without crutches, so, forget I said that. Can't get over all the new, exciting things you guys are doing! We're starting to worry about you're never coming home!!

    Mom & Pop

  2. You've really accomplished a lot over the last few weeks! Kudos for rescuing that poor Robin. Love the picture of the flag and the snowman.

  3. No snow for me! You guys continue to stay so busy! The Chic Dump looks like a neat place for a bite to eat! Yuck on the computer issues but glad that you have a new one!

  4. I also had to get a new PC this week. Actually 2, the first one had severe issues and I had to take it back. Luckily the second one works well. Nothing like spending hours getting everything back to normal!